Home » Why not a demand for minority status to Meitei / Meetei in election manifestos

Why not a demand for minority status to Meitei / Meetei in election manifestos

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Among others one major issue of the Meitei/meetei people is the apprehension about the fate of Meitei/Meetei as many people felt that a constitutional provision to protect the people and the land is required.
For years some have been demanding for granting of the ST status to the Meitei/Meetei people as it is considered as a tool to protect the land. But many didn’t like this idea as it would either distort the history of the erstwhile kingdom or may create chaos in the society.
This is being mentioned as the demand for ST status for Meitei/meetei has been strongly reacted from hill people on the fear that their quota’s may be useless if Meitei/Meetei community have been included in the ST list.
Those demanding Meetei / Meitei status and those opposing the demand have little difference if look upon with from their respective perspectives. Both wanted full proof protection of the Meitei/Meetei community even though their strategies are different.
This issue is one complicated issue and perhaps all chief Ministers of the successive government were left with no choice on whom they had to be sided with.
May be that is one reason for political parties to sideline this matter. The Congress manifesto which was released two days back mentioned nothing about this matter and NPP too sideline this issue.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had stated in the state assembly about the deliberate needs for protection of the Meitei Meetei as others in the Hill have already been protected by the article 371C of the Indian constitution and those in the valley have also been protected by the Minority act. The statement however, had angered the Schedule Tribe Demand Committee of the state and had reacted denouncing the CM reply in the ongoing session as irresponsible.
At first people across the state including this newspaper felt trouble water brimming in the N. Biren Singh Administration. He had stated that he will look into the demand for inclusion of the Meetei /Meitei in Schedule Tribe list.
While replying to the queries in connection demand for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei the leader of the house N. Biren Singh seem to know what to do as he is very much concern about the protection of the people of his state. Both parties demanding the ST status and those opposing it knows that Manipuri people , particularly the Meitei community need some kind of protection. But then ST demand perhaps is not going to be a solution as not every Manipuri like the idea.
At this point it is worth mentioning that the Supreme Court has asked the Central Government to file a reply to the request to the High Court to transfer the pending petition seeking grant of minority status in 9 states including Manipur to the High Court. The petition has requested to transfer all the cases related to it to the Supreme Court. The SC also gave times to the center to grant minority status to Hindus in the said 9 state.
Everyone knows that Meetei/Meitei community in the state have been following the Hindu religion for many centuries. If the Meitei/ Meetei following the Hindu religion have been granted minority status there should not be any differences of opinion because this is one opportunity to get constitutional safeguard to the meetei Meitei community following Hindu religion.
Imphal Times hope that political parties contesting in this election include some idea which will be consensus to all people like demand for minority status for the Meitei / meetei community in their respective “Election manifestos”.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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